The County Government of Taita Taveta has partnered with the Taita Taveta Wildlife Conservancies Association (TTWCA) to train 20 youth, drawn from Mwatate sub-county, on hides and skin tanning to empower them to produce a variety of leather products and promote leather value addition in the region.
According to the Department of Livestock Production led by CECM Erickson Kyongo, the county is keen to fully exploit opportunities in the leather industry, a move that will curb the surging rate of youth unemployment.
“The Governor is keen to ensure that the county has industries that can provide employment opportunities for the youth, and leather processing facilities which have a great potential to create jobs,” said Kyongo.
Mr. Francis Wainana, under the auspices of the African Leather and Leather Products Institute (ALLPI), was the Master Trainer in the two-week activity.
He acknowledged the zeal shown by the targeted youth, saying that it will promote efforts by the Governor to have youth integrated into government initiatives aimed at promoting self-employability.
The youth requested the county government to establish a mini-tannery within the county to ensure all the hides and skins being produced in the county are processed into leather products.
They stated that there is great potential in the county for finished leather products, including safety boots for wildlife rangers, traditional basket toppings and leather gloves for sisal harvesting among other leather products.
The 20 youth will be under further training to produce different leather goods in the next month and will be linked to different markets when leather products are in high demand.
By Michael Oduor
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